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Old 10-30-2015, 11:58 PM
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a380 a380 is offline
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emblaser laser cutter

hello all,

just wanted to post my initial impression of the emblaser laser cutter.

one of my pet peeves has always been my inability to keep cuts 'squared up' when cutting with a knife. i always felt that the time i spent sanding to get edges just right, a waste. i surfed the internet for solutions and for a time seriously considered getting a mechanical die cutting machine. ultimately i decided against those because i figured out that these machines are not capable of cutting really small parts. the blade is limited by the dimensions of its own cutting surface. i then looked at laser cutters and soon realized that the price of these units to be several thousand dollars. there are chinese cutters on ebay that are cheaper but their performance, build quality, documentation and support seemed questionable at best. plus most of them tend to be co2 based which require serious ventilation and cooling. finally while visiting a geman modeling site i read about the diode based emblaser. i visited emblaser website and finally found the machine i was looking for! just to be sure i contacted a couple of users and asked for their opinion. one of them is paper shipwright's david hathaway. he kindly replied with a glowing recommendation and i was sold when i learned that he had cut 1/200 scale ships railings with ease!

the emblaser began as a kickstater project by darkly labs based in australia and run by domenic di giorgio. the machine comes in the form of a kit and the a4 version costs $701.00 including the cutting software and shipping to usa. from the day i ordered it took just shy of 4 weeks for the machine to arrive. after downloading the excellent building instructions it took me about 6 hours to assemble it all. everything is provided, even the allen wrenches. the only other tools i needed were a screwdriver and pliers. the user manual, the cut2d software by vectric and the universal g code sender are also easy to use and require no more skill than using any average computer software.

i have had this machine for about a month now and i am thrilled with it. i think it will significantly change how i make models and their quality. mind you i have just made some simple parts so far but i think my knives, scissors and files are going to get rusty!

the 1/48 scale shovel head is plain copy paper.

emblaser laser cutter-p1020021a.jpg

the 4 tiny parts are 2mm wide

emblaser laser cutter-p1020022a.jpg

finally, the learning curve is not steep at all but does require patience to assemble the machine correctly and experiment with the settings. the one thing that can be frustrating is focusing the laser to be the sharpest possible, especially for someone like me with less than perfect vision. one of the things that sold me about this machine is the support. domenic promptly answered a couple of questions i had. the darkly labs forum is great and i suppose this having started as a kickstarter project the community is a bunch of like minded diy'ers who are very keen on helping each other, just like here!

check out their websitehttps://darklylabs.com/ and see if this is something you may want.


amit
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:12 AM
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mbauer mbauer is offline
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Very interesting.

Question what is the gcode?

Big question; how does it work to cut parts out? Meaning do you need to use their software to design the model, or will it cut a pre-printed model kit? or does it convert output from design software to be able to cut model out?

Do you have the 3 watt or 4watt version?

Might be interested in the A3 version!

Thank you for any "light" you can provide on how it operates.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:52 AM
Ponytail Ponytail is offline
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Thanks Amit,
Very interesting machine.
Certainly beats the 'famous' chinese cutter.
Please keep us/me informed about this machine.
Saving money for now...
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:01 PM
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hello all,

@mike: as I understand it g code is a computer language that converts vector drawings into 'instructions' for machine tools. in the emblaser's case it converts your drawings to make the laser to turn on/off and move around on the x/y axis to cut the parts. you can draw your parts in software like illustrator and corel draw (I use illustrator) open them in the cut 2d to set the laser speed/power/pass parameters and finally send the files to the gcode sender to activate the cutter. you could however create your designs in cut2d software and thus eliminate 1 step. I haven't done that yet, since I feel comfortable using illustrator. also, I read an announcement that an update is coming that will enable the cut2d to talk directly to the cutter without using the gcode sender. good question about cutting out pre printed kits. I suppose you could scan and create a vector files that can then be fed to cut2d. perhaps you could ask dominic at darkly or try david Hathaway who has lot more experience with the machine than i. I bought the a4 version with the 3w laser. as I understand the kerf of the 4w is not as narrow. hope I have answered your questions. please contact me if I can be of any more help.

@willem: I am glad that didn't go the Chinese route!

just so you know that there are other non Chinese machines being introduced. the glowforge and the stepcutter (cnc cutter with optional heads including 3d printer and a laser in the future) seem to be most promising but the costs are more that double that of the emblaser.

all the best

amit
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:32 PM
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mbauer mbauer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a380 View Post
hello all,

@mike: as I understand it g code is a computer language that converts vector drawings into 'instructions' for machine tools. in the emblaser's case it converts your drawings to make the laser to turn on/off and move around on the x/y axis to cut the parts. you can draw your parts in software like illustrator and corel draw (I use illustrator) open them in the cut 2d to set the laser speed/power/pass parameters and finally send the files to the gcode sender to activate the cutter. you could however create your designs in cut2d software and thus eliminate 1 step. I haven't done that yet, since I feel comfortable using illustrator. also, I read an announcement that an update is coming that will enable the cut2d to talk directly to the cutter without using the gcode sender. good question about cutting out pre printed kits. I suppose you could scan and create a vector files that can then be fed to cut2d. perhaps you could ask dominic at darkly or try david Hathaway who has lot more experience with the machine than i. I bought the a4 version with the 3w laser. as I understand the kerf of the 4w is not as narrow. hope I have answered your questions. please contact me if I can be of any more help.

@willem: I am glad that didn't go the Chinese route!

just so you know that there are other non Chinese machines being introduced. the glowforge and the stepcutter (cnc cutter with optional heads including 3d printer and a laser in the future) seem to be most promising but the costs are more that double that of the emblaser.

all the best

amit
Thank you for the reply!

Think I will ask some questions on the forum there. I use AutoCAD for my designs, thinking .dxf will work.

Very interesting machine, from what I read on the forums so far, looks like they are developing it all the time, and are willing to help customers as well!

Thank you Amit for posting about it!

Mike
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:14 AM
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hello all,

just wanted to show a tiny part I cut out with the emblaser using .20 mm card stock. the side walls are thinner than the engraving on the ruler. I made 5 copies because I am afraid I am going to destroy a few just by looking at them
emblaser laser cutter-p1020048.jpg
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:58 AM
Karl Karl is offline
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That is amazing.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:12 AM
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RyanShort RyanShort is offline
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I have one, too... it's running above my workstation right now.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:48 AM
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That is some nice precise cutting.

Can you set the depth of cut and do engraving in card stock with that thing?
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:22 AM
David Hathaway David Hathaway is offline
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As my name was mentioned and before I get too many PM's :-) I thought I would post a quick reply.

Yes I have an Emblaser and was definitely an early adopter - I got mine in January. I have been consistently impressed with it - from a product design, support, usability and capability point of view.

My main driver was to have a laser-cutter at home for small parts like railings that I wanted to use in my 1:250 ship models (mostly for my own use - not for sale with my kits). It has passed with flying colours.

I have the A4 version and have been using the 3W laser to date. It is very happy cutting up to 300gsm card in a single pass but 1mm geryboard/strawboard is a multi-pass operation. I have the 4W upgrade but have not fitted it yet - it will probably have to wait until the Christmas holidays. I am hoping for significantly reduced cutting speeds.

The latest version of Cut2D laser now lets you send cutting files to the laser without generating Gcode - so the workflow for me is to draw up the parts in Corel Draw and save, load into Cut2D, set cutting speed and power and send to the cutter. Very straightforward.

Some pictures attached showing what it is capable of. Pictures are -

1. 1:250 icebreaker Lenin with my laser-cut railings and anchor chains (2D but very effective. Note I have now successfully cut chains with "links" 1.2mm long)

2. Spitzbergen airship mast parts - one of my 1:250 scale free models. Need to re-cut with the power a bit higher to cut the ladders properly

3. Parts for the 1:250 model of KBV49 by Bildrum/Gunnar Sillen. 200gsm pale grey card, sprayed grey

4. Craneship Hartmut Redemann - this is to show the jib I laser-cut the parts for. 300gsm black card. The rest of the model is incomplete and the railings, while laser-cut, are not "cut" by me.

Note I do not at this time plan to sell any laser-cut parts sets for my models. This may change in the future but for now the answer is "No".

I am happy answer any other specific questions.
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emblaser laser cutter-p1040914_small.jpg   emblaser laser cutter-mooring-mast-laser-parts-small.jpg   emblaser laser cutter-p1040912_small.jpg   emblaser laser cutter-p1040911_small.jpg  
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